7 Reasons Make Car Shuts Off While Driving & 5 Solutions

Jerry Wilson
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Reasons Why a Car Could Stop When Driving

Here are a few reasons why a car called “stalls” or di smartly shuts off while you are driving:

  • Your fuel pump might be dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced
  • Your fuel pump might be dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced Your fuel pump might be plugged and needs to be replaced
  • Your fuel pump might be plugged and needs to be replaced Your fuel pump might be damaged and needs to be replaced
  • Your fuel pump might be damaged and needs to be replaced The electrical connection between your fuel pump and your engine has failed
  • The electrical connection between your fuel pump and your engine has failed The mechanical operation between your fuel pump and your engine has failed
  • The mechanical operation between your fuel pump and your engine has failed Your vehicle’s gas cap might be damaged and needs to be replaced
  • Your vehicle’s gas cap might be damaged and needs to be replaced The O-ring in your gas cap might be damaged and need to be replaced
  • The O-ring in your gas cap might be damaged and need to be replaced Your gas cap might be missing
  • Your gas cap might be missing Gas and gasoline have gotten too low in your fuel tank
  • Gas and gasoline have gotten too low in your fuel tank Your fuel pressure regulator might be dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced

Possible Solutions to Car Stopping When Driving

For the Prius, the gas pedal shouldn’t cause the engine to rev up. It should simply speed up the electric motor. But possibly the cable that goes to the gas pedal could be pulled out of the speed sensor. Or, you might have trash in the sensor.

If your car only shuts off while going 40 or 50 mph, it could be something mechanical. The automatic transmission torque converter could be low and thus not able to climb the gear when the engine revs up.

Check the transmission fluid and see if it’s low. If it is, check whether it’s leaking. Running out of fluid would cause the engine to shut off since it needs fluid to run.

Check the condition of the automatic transmission fluid, as it may have been low.

Check also for clutch pin contamination. Pulling out the transmission dip stick and wiping the fluid off it with a white rag could clear it.

Get a diagnostic test to see if there’s an error code. These 7- and 8-digit numbers can be obtained from a trusted mechanic, a friendly neighbor, or for free from some manufacturers. Your car should have a code easily found in the owners manual.

Tips to Reduce the Likelihood of Your Car Stopping When Driving

First, let’s get the cause of “car dies” identified:

{1}. Fuel system failure: This means the problem is likely not in your fuel tank.
{2}. Bad ignition switch: This can be the root cause of a lot of different problems, but most of them have to do with getting power to your starter. It could be the switch, the wiring, the connection or even your battery.
{3}. Bad starter: Sometimes less obvious than a bad switch, but pretty obvious when it’s not working.
{4}. Wiring issues: Wires can get frayed, and connections between wires can be bad. Make sure your battery terminals are also clean.
{5}. Bad solenoid: This is what starts the flow of fuel from your fuel pump.
{6}. Bad fuel pump: Whether it’s the strainer or the pump itself, if the pump pulled air into the fuel tank (or if all the air and water were drawn out of the tank), you will have a problem.
{7}. Air in the fuel line: If the air mixes with the fuel, you have a big issue.

Conclusion

For many new car owners, an irritating yet all too common problem happens when you are driving down the interstate at 65 mph when suddenly the car shuts down. The car coasts to a slow stop.